2020 Hyundai Palisade


The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is not Hyundai's first three-row SUV, but it certainly is its best and biggest. The Palisade replaces the Hyundai Santa Fe XL, which suffered from a cramped third row fit for only occasional use. The Palisade's silky ride quality and premium interior appointments teeter at the edge of luxury. Offering three spacious rows of seating, loads of safety and driver-assist technology, all-wheel drive, and distinctive styling, it's a bold statement for this Korean manufacturer.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Palisade is an all-new model for the Hyundai lineup and shares its underpinnings with the Kia Telluride. Hyundai also increased the prices of its desirable new SUV in the middle of its first model year.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • SE: $32,895
  • SEL: $34,845
  • Limited: $46,045
    Our Palisade of choice would be the Limited version; we would add optional all-wheel drive for $1700. Consumers in more temperate climates could forgo this choice. The Limited sniffs the luxury segment and includes just about every bell and whistle. Nappa leather seating surfaces, a faux-suede headliner, heated and ventilated first and second rows, a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, and a vast amount of safety and driver-assist systems are a few of the high points.

    Engine, Transmission, and Towing

    Likes: The V-6 is potent enough for this segment, transmission shifts smoothly. Dislikes: The transmission gets flustered when driving up hills.
    The Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the engine's 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque are adequate for this application. The Palisade's transmission can be manually shifted with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The gearbox shifts smoothly on its own, but there's some busy shuffling of the ratios when climbing hills. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional on all trim levels. All Palisades come standard with a robust transmission cooler, trailer pre-wiring and sway control, and can tow up to 5000 pounds when equipped with the dealer-installed trailer hitch.
    We tested an all-wheel-drive SEL and it delivered adequate—if unexceptional—test results at our test track. In our testing, the Palisade went from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and the Palisade needed 182 feet to stop from 70 mph. It proved to be slightly quicker than the Kia Telluride but slower than the Chevy Traverse.

    Fuel Economy

    According to the EPA, the front-wheel-drive Palisade achieves a rating of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Palisade gets 19 city and 24 mpg highway. In our 200-mile highway test route, our all-wheel-drive SEL model managed just 23 of its claimed 24 mpg rating.

    Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

    Likes: Spacious interior, simple infotainment operation, the large cargo area is easily expanded.Dislikes: Satellite radio costs extra, lots of wind noise, tight door pockets.
    Noise from the road is suppressed; however, a large amount of wind noise penetrates the doors. The controls for the climate system and drive modes are logically laid out and easy to use. There's room for up to eight passengers in the SE and SEL trims, seven in the Limited, and there's plenty of space in all three rows for their occupants. The second row features a one-touch button to move the seat forward for easy access to the third row.
    An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity is standard on SE and SEL trims. A responsive and intuitive 10.3-inch display rendered with sharp resolution—optional on the SEL and standard with the Limited—offers navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio. Both systems also can be operated by physical knobs and buttons. Up to seven USB ports can be optioned as well as the ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. When equipped with Hyundai's Blue Link app service, the Palisade can be locked and unlocked as well as started remotely through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
    With the second- and third-row seats folded, power operation is optional on the SEL and standard on Limited. Cargo volume behind the front seats is 86 cubic feet, which fit 33 carry-on suitcases in our testing. With the second row in the upright position and the third row folded, there is 46 cubic feet. Store the third row and the volume shrinks to a modest 18 cubes. Underneath the load floor, there is plenty of room to store muddy or wet items. The cubbies in the doors are tight, but there is reasonable storage within and below the floating-bridge center console.

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    Results for the Palisade have yet to be released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named it a Top Safety Pick+. On top of the standard safety equipment, nearly every advanced safety system can be added as the trim levels progress. Key safety features include:
    • Standard lane-keeping assist
    • Standard forward-collision avoidance
    • Standard adaptive cruise control

      Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

      Hyundai's warranty is one of the best in the business, highlighted by the 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain coverage for the first owner of the vehicle.
      • Limited warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
      • Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
      • No complimentary scheduled maintenance
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